Mental health problems are MUCH more common than you might think, Mind states that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. This is a figure that many of you may be aware of, but realistically, considering the stigma surrounding the subject of mental health this figure is probably higher as not everyone has the confidence to talk about their mental health.
Personally, I think a lot of people overcomplicate the subject of mental health making discussion even harder! Sometimes we talk about mental health as if it isn’t an everyday part of life (which it is!), with complicated definitions, terminology, and even sometimes diagnosis that made the subject for me as a young person really intimidating.
Here is an example:
The oxford dictionary defines mental health as: “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.”
To me, that’s very medical and makes me feel like a mental health problem would be equally as complicated. I’m not going to start a debate about what the definition should be, as this is not the point of mental health awareness week in my opinion.
BUT, what I can say is that when I think about how mentally healthy I am, I definitely don’t ask myself; “How is my condition with regard to my psychological and emotional well-being today?” I ask myself “How am I feeling today?” it’s really that easy!
So, this is my task for you this week, especially as we’re in lockdown, start conversations around mental health with your friends and family. Don’t ask them “What is your condition with regard to your psychological and emotional well-being?” Just simply ask; “How are you feeling?” (We all probably do this every day without thinking too!) They may answer “I’m great, I just made myself a ham and pineapple pizza” (again, another debate that I am not trying to start right now. But between you and me I love it!) Or, “good u?” but they might also answer “I’m not doing too great right now, I miss you with all this lockdown craziness, wanna face time?” and these are all answers that could be an opportunity to talk about your mental health openly and healthily. In the same vein, if you are struggling right now, use this week as an opportunity to reach out to someone you trust!
Also, just to make having these conversations even less scary (which hopefully after reading this it isn’t anyway!), all of the resources you need to get support can be found under the “Need help?” tab on our website!
So I know I might be upsetting a doctor somewhere, or maybe the person who writes all the definitions for the Oxford Dictionary (who I imagine looking like one of the goblins from Gringotts Wizarding Bank but that’s beside the point.) But for this week and the rest of time while we’re at it, let’s drop the complicated lingo and long words and just talk about mental health like it is something we all have and deal with (Because we do!).
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!